Here at Propero, we optimize a lot of websites to help improve the Shopify store's performance. After all, a fast site is a vital ingredient for keeping users on your site and creating conversions. We have noticed that Merchants tend to use too many apps for small functionalities. While the Shopify app store provides a lot of good options for many apps, it is important to also assess whether you really need an app for this feature or you are better off tweaking the theme to achieve the same feature. We will attempt to discuss this dilemma in this article.
Concerns about Shopify apps :
Shopify apps are great at adding functionality and style to sites but they can also make them slower. When a consumer wants some customization in their store, the first idea that comes into mind is to install an app. Whether they have a minor task or a major one their one-to-go place is the app store. So here we should take a step back and learn more about some of its drawbacks to it.Here, We are not trying to say that you shouldn’t install apps on your store.
Apps provide great value for store owners and customers.
If an app is providing you with good returns, such as increased conversion rates, increased traffic, user interaction, or even cutting down on the amount of time you spend on customer service, then that is great, you should use those apps since they make your life easier and your business better.
Some of the drawbacks of using apps are :
Apps affect the speed of our store in many ways. If you are someone who usually installs and uninstalls apps on their theme, there is a chance of leftover code remaining in your theme from uninstalled apps still loading unnecessary resources.
Most of the time, resources loaded by apps cannot be optimized because the code is either inaccessible, there’s a risk of causing issues, or any changes made to app files that have been added to the theme will get automatically overwritten by the app.
When you install a customer-facing app, that app is going to need to load its own resources in order for it to function. These resources (HTML, scripts, stylesheets, fonts, images, etc.) are added to your theme and injected into your site when it loads.
Once you uninstall an app, there will be remaining code in your theme file which won't be easily removed as now apps don’t have access to your store.
Also, each app tries to cover many scenarios because it is supposed to be generic and should be able to integrate and work well with multiple themes as well as many different scenarios. That's one reason why the code injected may not be optimized and your store will end up loading unnecessary code.
The more apps you have installed, the more resources need to be loaded, which increases requests, render-blocking, and page weight, ultimately increasing a store’s load times.
Replace your apps with customizable code :
The best solution with apps from a performance standpoint is to code the required feature directly into your theme with the help of a developer or by hiring someone from the Shopify marketplace.
A custom-code feature may scale with the business. This implies that if your requirements change in the future, you can always contact the company that built your code to have it reorganized. The developer can always resolve any error or issue.
In simple words, with customizable code, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Not only will it be budget-friendly for long-term costs but also you will have a faster load speed.
The business requirements differ from merchant to merchant. As a good practice merchants should keep reviewing the number of Apps they have at any point time in their store. While adding each new app, weigh the pros and cons and decide. Also, discuss in a forum or ask the developer if this app is a really light app or do you really need this app, or can it be done through theme tweak, etc.
We at Propero, have already been doing this for such a long time now, as big brands avoid using apps for their small tasks and prefer customizable code in their theme.
Hope you found the above valuable.